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Updated guidelines issued in response to new vaccine availability

Reuters Health • The Doctor's Channel Daily Newscast

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – In response, in part, to the availability of new vaccines, the Infectious Diseases Society of America has issued an update to their 2002 immunization guidelines for infants, children, adolescents, and adults.

The update appears in the September 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Since the prior guidelines were released, a number of new vaccines have been licensed, including human papillomavirus vaccine, live attenuated influenza vaccine, and meningococcal conjugate vaccine. New combination vaccines have also become available, including the measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccine.

For several vaccines, including hepatitis A vaccines, influenza vaccines, and varicella vaccine, there has been an increase in the recommended target populations.

In the updated guidelines, lead author Dr. Larry K. Pickering and colleagues, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia put forth 46 standards “that, if followed, should lead to optimal disease prevention through vaccination in multiple population groups while maintaining high levels of safety.”

Each recommendation was rated in terms of strength (A, B, or C with A being strongest) and the quality of supporting evidence (I, II, or III with I being best).

Some of the strongest, best supported recommendations (A-I) include:
–Infants, children, teens, and adults should be given all vaccines that are recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
–Patient out-of-pocket vaccination costs should be minimized.
–Use reminder/recall systems to increase vaccination rates.
–Appropriate vaccines should be given to pregnant women with indications that place them at risk for specific vaccine-preventable illnesses.
–Ensure that persons traveling to foreign countries receive country-specific vaccines in time for them to develop optimal protection.

Clin Infect Dis 2009;49:817-840.